A Simplified Book Marketing Plan for Authors
Self-Publishing a book is an impressive accomplishment. As an indie author, you can use your book to build your brand, business, or ministry as you make an impact with your words. As a former self-publishing consultant who oversaw indie publishing for independent authors, I often saw authors lose momentum shortly after the release of their Christian book. Marketing can be hard because there are so many ways to market a book, but creating a simplified book marketing plan can keep the momentum going. I want to share with you three things I learned to market my book.
When I first started self-publishing, I was finished with my book marketing after the first three or four months. Marketing was a substantial amount of work, and I was not committed to longevity. Instead, I had to commit to the long run. Book marketing is not done after you’ve sold it to family and friends. Instead, that is when it begins.
I recommend Christian authors perform a quarterly launch with their book. This requires setting overall sales goals and breaking the goal down into quarterly increments. When setting my goals, I am realistic. Yet, I set challenging goals that force me to actively market my book. Committing to longevity means finding creative ways to get in front of a new section of my target audience every quarter. This approach works.
I learned to focus. I had to stop multitasking when it comes to my book. I had to make my book the center of my focus and give it my undivided attention for a period. Being focused meant that I had to dedicate a time (for example 90 days) that I was going to center my social media posts, blogs, and marketing activities around the message in my book. I understood I could not just throw a social media post up every now and then, saying, “buy my book,” without creating a content strategy around the message of my book.
Not being focused causes overwhelm, which leads to quitting. Instead, align things with your book. For example, I author a book on prayer, but I am always posting about my lipstick line. This divided my attention. If you are not giving your book the attention it deserves, it will not sell, and you will consider your book a failure (and it is not). Focus, so that you are not pulled in too many directions.
Before I developed the skill of focusing as a Christian writer, I would start a marketing strategy and just as it began to yield results, I would see something else another author was doing, and I would try that. I had to learn that the world is innovative, and people are so creative that there will always be diverse ways of doing things. But I needed to focus on what worked for me. Becoming confident in my own creativity helped me to focus.
Simplicity in a Book Marketing Plan
There are so many ways to market a book, however, not all of them will work for you. Initially, you may have to try several things to find out what best works for you. Once you find the 1-2 techniques that work well, maximize those things.
If you are a team of one, trying to do everything will cause you to do nothing. If you market simple, you will see a return on your time and money investment. It is easy to stretch yourself thin as an author because we are often trying to achieve the results of those Christian authors who have large audiences. However, simple marketing boils down to knowing who God has called you to serve and understanding how to meet the needs of that audience.
When you do not understand your reader persona, then it is easier to get off track and to try every marketing tactic you read about. Instead, build an authentic relationship with your readers to understand what they like and what they will respond. Once you understand that, you will see how simple it is to market to your readers. Marketing haphazardly happens when we do not have clarity about who we are serving with the messages in our book.
We have all heard, “have multiple streams of income.” Some of us might think that means having multiple books or businesses. But it means having one Christian book or product and finding multiple ways to get paid from that one theme (books, journals, courses, coaching, etc.). The journey as a Christian author is one that requires arduous work, dedication, commitment, and focus. But the rewards can be enjoyed when you understand how to keep the marketing momentum going by doing less so you can accomplish more.
For more tips on book marketing, read these blogs from other Indie Authors:
About the Author
Pamela D. Smith is an award-winning, multi-published author, evangelist, and mentor. Her books help women heal so that they are purposeful in their lives, careers, and businesses. She speaks at churches, women’s conferences, and empowerment events. Her mentorship includes helping aspiring authors with the self-publishing process. She was featured in Sheen magazine as one of 11 Women in Marketplace Ministry to Watch in 2021. Pamela is featured in other online magazines, blogs, and podcasts. To learn more, visit www.pameladsmith.net or follow her on Instagram at @pameladsmith1.